G.R.A.C.E.

Global Researchers Advancing Catholic Education (G.R.A.C.E.) is an international research-based partnership between Mary Immaculate College in Ireland, Boston College in the United States, the University of Notre Dame in Australia, St. Mary's University in London, and now the International Office of Catholic Education (OIEC) in Rome. G.R.A.C.E. offers academics and everyone interested in a new, integrated and revitalized approach to Catholic education the opportunity to collaborate in the analysis of the challenges and opportunities facing Catholic schools. Activities include: (1) research and publications, including by doctoral students; (2) a series of lectures; (3) various forms of exchange through a community of practice.

 

GRACE Lecture Series logo

The G.R.A.C.E. lecture series is a monthly webinar on a topic of interest to Catholic schools around the world. This webinar will be presented by a panel of academics and researchers, with each partnering rotating the organization of various talks. The overarching goal of the G.R.A.C.E. lecture series is to share scholarship and increase dialogue with international colleagues committed to Catholic education.

 

The Heart of Catholic Education:
A Conversation with Dr. Thomas H. Groome

Wednesday, December 2, 2020, 2:30-4:00 p.m. EST

Speaker: Thomas H. Groome, Ph.D., Professor of Theology and Religious Education, Boston College

When a school presents itself to the world as offering Catholic education, it signals, at a minimum, that it is committed to educating from and for faith. It is to educate from deep spiritual convictions that are core to Catholicism and for a Transcendent as well as an immanent perspective on life in the world and how to live it well. What then, we might ask, is at "the heart" of Catholic education? We surely need to know for moving forward faithfully in our time.

 

 

 

Beyond Test Scores: Measuring the Contributions
of Catholic Schools and Universities

Tuesday, January 19, 2021, 11:00 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. EST

Presentation: Quentin Wodon, International Office of Catholic Education (OIEC)

Discussants: Kathy Mears, Interim CEO, National Catholic Education Association; Andrew Miller, Assistant Professor, Boston College; and Timothy Uhl, Superintendent, Catholic Schools for Montana

Free and open to the public. The event will be held online over Zoom and will be livestreamed on YouTube. This event is organized with the Catholic Research Economists Discussion Organization (CREDO), Global Researchers Advancing Catholic Education (GRACE), the International Federation of Catholic Universities (IFCU), the National Catholic Education Association (NCEA), and the International Office of Catholic Education (OIEC). This event is cosponsored by America Media and Global Catholic Education.

Catholic schools and universities aim to educate the whole person. Beyond strong academics, they aim to educate towards fraternal humanism. Do we have any evidence that they succeed? Based on recent research for the United States conducted under the new collaborative Global Catholic Education project (www.GlobalCatholicEducation.org), including a set of papers prepared for a special issue of the Journal of Catholic Education, this webinar will explore this question. Topics to be considered include (1) whether parents sending children to Catholic schools have different priorities for what children should learn in school than other parents; (2) whether students in Catholic schools exhibit self-discipline; (3) whether different stakeholders have different worldviews for Catholic schools; (4) whether there is less violence in Catholic schools than in other schools; (5) whether going to Catholic schools is associated with particular patterns of family formation later in life; and (6) more generally, what is meant by a Catholic identity. While the discussion will focus in large part on schools, implications for Catholic universities will also be discussed. After a presentation summarizing findings from recent research, panelists will share their views on how Catholic schools and universities could rely on these and other research findings to improve the education they provide "beyond test scores".

 

 

 

Learning Poverty and Education Pluralism:
The Global Catholic Education Report 2021

Tuesday, February 16, 2021, 11:00 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. EST

Presentation: Quentin Wodon, International Office of Catholic Education (OIEC)

Discussants: Francois Mabille, Secretary General, International Federation of Catholic Universities; Augusta Muthigani, National Executive Secretary, Commission for Education and Religious Education, Kenya Conference of Catholic Bishops; and Halsey Rogers, Lead Economist, World Bank, Washington, D.C.

Free and open to the public. The event will be held online over Zoom and will be livestreamed on YouTube. This event is organized with the Catholic Research Economists Discussion Organization (CREDO), Global Researchers Advancing Catholic Education (GRACE), the International Federation of Catholic Universities (IFCU), the National Catholic Education Association (NCEA), and the International Office of Catholic Education (OIEC). This event is cosponsored by America Media and Global Catholic Education.

Offered in partnership with CREDO, IFCU, G.R.A.C.E., Lumen Christi Institute, NCEA and OIEC

Catholic schools serve close to 62 million students globally at the preschool, primary, and secondary levels, with in addition more than 6 million students enrolled at the post-secondary level. By managing the largest non-governmental network of schools and universities in the world, the Catholic Church plays an important role in efforts to achieve SDG4, especially in low-income countries. In 2020, OIEC released the first Global Catholic Education Report. The second edition of the report for 2021 under the new collaborative Global Catholic Education project (www.GlobalCatholicEducation.org) focuses on learning poverty, education pluralism, and the implications of the COVID-19 Crisis. The report explores the impact of the crisis on educational attainment and learning across countries, as well as the issue of education pluralism, suggesting that education pluralism should be taken into account when considering state support for nonprofit faith-based schools and universities. The report also discusses regulatory framework for Catholic schools and universities, as well as interventions that could improve educational outcomes. Finally, the report includes an updated statistical annex on enrollment trends in Catholic schools and universities in more than 100 countries. After a presentation summarizing the main findings from the Global Catholic Education Report 2021, panelists will share their views on how Catholic schools and universities globally could improve the education they provide and confront some of the most pressing challenges they face.

 

 

 

Risking to Live and Love Like Jesus:  
The Heart of the Teacher in a Catholic School

Tuesday, March 9, 2021, 7:00-8:30 p.m. GMT

Speaker: Dr. Maureen Glackin, Catholic Independent Schools’ Conference

Leading and learning within a Catholic school requires a singular disposition – one that has the humility to be reflective but the audacity to believe that one speaks in the vernacular of Christ the Teacher in all aspects of the role. This vernacular, which Pope Francis terms the language of the mind, the language of the heart, and the language of the hands, informs not only the professional identity but also the personal formation of the Catholic professional. Using the words of those at the ‘chalk face’, my lecture will explore and celebrate this unique synthesis of the professional, the spiritual and the personal in the life and practice of educators in Catholic schools and articulate the prophetic nature of their role in the contemporary church.

 

 

 

The Distinctiveness and Development
of African Catholic Education

Tuesday, April 13, 2021, 11:00-12:30 p.m. EST

Speaker: Fr. Gilbert Ezeugwu, Diocese of Nsukka, Nigeria, and doctoral student in the Lynch School of Education and Human Development at Boston College

Nigerian student

While Catholic education in Africa is flourishing, it has not been studied and researched to the extent that it has in the global North. The foundation of Catholic education always remains the principles and values of the Gospel, and Vatican and synodal documents. However, cultural traditions and social conditions determine how each of these are uniquely embodied and expressed. Without advocating Afrocentrism or fragmented Catholicism, Fr. Gilbert will discuss why and how an authentic development of Catholic education in Africa must be grounded in its distinct African identity.

 

 

 

Edith Stein: Catholic Education in Service of Personhood

Tuesday, May 11, 2021, 7:00-8:30 p.m. GMT

Speaker: Edith Stein, Emeritus Professor John Sullivan, Liverpool Hope University

Edith Stein (Saint Teresa Benedicta of the Cross, 1891 - 1942) modeled what is at the heart of Catholic education: the fostering of authentic personhood. After an overview of her life and work, Professor Sullivan explores key aspects of her understanding of the nature of persons and of spirituality, before presenting major themes in her writings on education. Edith Stein can still guide and inspire Catholic educators and those wishing to integrate professional work with Christian discipleship.

Publications and Media Reports & Events

Here we will list publications, videos, media events and reports related to Catholic Education by researchers associated with the G.R.A.C.E. initiative. If you are associated with G.R.A.C.E. and would like to link to any of your publications here, please contact denise.morris@bc.edu.

 

Global Catholic Education Report 2020 (OIEC)

The G.R.A.C.E. Community of Practice

Strengthening Catholic education in the current situation, and above all in a Post-Covid19 environment, requires a creative, integrative response, and a platform for thought-leaders, educators, theologians and researchers to gather, encounter and engage these tensions in new ways. Academic conferences have long been popular forums of sharing scholarship and voicing ideas. While these are respectable scholarly arenas in academia, their structure limits the ways in which participants can learn and engage together.

Through the establishment of a Global Community of Practice, GRACE’s holistic approach seeks to foster a familial humanism among participants, emerging scholars and sages. Such relationships help participants notice and respond to the presence of grace, fostering both personal and professional transformation. Participants bring their scholarship and faith to bear on select themes and topics through round-table and virtual conversations, informal discourse, and reflective discussions.

The G.R.A.C.E. Community of Practice is designed to influence three domains of the field of Catholic education:

  • Cognitive: the theoretical and conceptual base of Catholic education;
  • Affective: the formative qualities and experiences that shape the Catholic educator and scholar;
  • Behavioral: the adoption of new understandings which influence the practice of being a Catholic educator and scholar in promoting social justice, while enhancing one’s capacity to foster a ‘culture of dialogue’ towards a global common good.

In these particular ways, GRACE hosts a ‘culture of encounter’ (Pope Francis) where people gather, learn from and grow with one another, contributing to the common good and living a sustainable manner.

The Community of Practice is for everyone interested in a new, integrated and revitalised approach to Catholic education: teachers, chaplains, parents, researchers, established and emerging academics, and thought leaders. In the early stages of the project the focus is on the UK, Ireland, North America and Australia. In its second phase, the project will be actively seeking partners in the Global South.

If you are interested in participating in a Community of Practice, please email the Roche Center at catholic@bc.edu and write "Community of Practice" in the subject line. We will be in touch with you regarding these quarterly conversations!

Global Researchers Advancing Catholic Education (G.R.A.C.E.) is an international research-based partnership between Boston College in the United States, the University of Notre Dame in Australia, Mary Immaculate College in Ireland, St. Mary's University in London, and now the International Office of Catholic Education (OIEC) in Rome. Project lead coordinators from each University and OIEC are listed below.

 

Professor Philip Booth, Dean of the Faculty of Education, Humanities and Social Sciences, St Mary’s University, London

Linda Cranley, Senior Lecturer & Co-ordinator, Bed (Primary), University of Notre Dame Australia

Dr. Charles Cownie, Director of Catholic Teacher Formation, Boston College

Dr. Christine Edwards-Leis, Director of the Professional Doctorate in Education and Post Graduate Research Programme, St Mary’s University, London

Professor Chris Hackett, Associate Dean (Religious Education), University of Notre Dame Australia

Dr. Caroline Healy, Lecturer in Educational Leadership and Management, St Mary’s University, London

Dr. John Lydon, Programme Director, Catholic School Leadership, St. Mary's University, London

Dr. Andrew Miller, Assistant Professor, Lynch School of Education and Human Development, Boston College

Philippe Richard, J.D., Secretary General, OIEC

Quentin Wodon, International Office of Catholic Education (OIEC)

Dr. Melodie Wyttenbach, Executive Director, Roche Centre for Catholic Education, Boston College
With Carly-Anne Gannon, Roche Center Fellow, Boston College